Archive for April, 2010

PostHeaderIcon In for a penny, in for a pound

Well, I’ve been back in the workforce for about a month – how time flies! Have I saved my fortune yet, ready to travel?

Um, no. Unfortunately not quite but then again, I have taken a quick trip to the north of France for a weekend (the novelty of being able to go to another country for the weekend may NEVER wear off!) and spent Easter in Brighton.

Yes, so far I’ve spent almost all that I’ve earned but as I’m an IWOM, I can explain; since I started work I’ve only worked 3 or 4 day weeks due to Easter and bank holidays and a bout of food poisoning (another story). I’ve managed to pay my rent and phone bill, buy some work-clothes and food, eat out with friends AND have my couple of weekends away…did I mention one weekend was in another country?! Told you I can’t get over that one.

What I’m trying to say is, upon reaching my four week anniversary of working for a living, I reckon I’ve done ok so far!

Haha, you could say I’m adjusting to my slightly less than totally foot-loose lifestyle reasonably well.

Back to the fun part – what did I do in France? I visited my famille Francais and attended their local Bal de Carnival. It’s an annual event that I attended last year and promised I’d return this year.

Dressed for the Bal

Dressed for the Bal

The Carnival is a time of celebration and remembering a local hero; Jean Bart but Bal (Ball in English) also links back to the time when fisherman leaving n long sea journeys farewelled their loved ones by having a huge celebration in the town – in case they didn’t return.

My explanation isn’t very good I know but it’s not bad when you consider my low level French skills.

Carol et Laure

Finishing off the evening

Where my friends live, in Brouckerque, the BalĀ  is loads of fun and lasts all night – a night of crazy costumes, delicious food, plenty of dancing and drinking and a great sense of community – the wine may have helped but I had some wonderful conversations in spite of my petit peu (little) French and mostly non-English speaking “new” friends!

Back to work for a few days and then it was Easter. You’ve gotta love short working weeks!

Easter kind of crept up on me so after assessing funds and the lack of planning or booking time I decided it would be cool to go to an English coastal spot. Where better than Brighton as a first experience of the UK coast? Even in Australia I’d heard of the Brighton Pier and then I found out about the historic Royal Pavillion so off I went – dragging some friends along too.

Brighton is full of interesting shops and characters – I loved the variety and funky feel of it.

We did the traditional thing as you must; and had fish and chips on the pier and wandered The Lanes which is a fabulous area filled with jewellery, clothing and antique shops, cafes and bars and has a great feel to it – very tempting. We had a couple of fun nights in and around there but “what happens in Brighton, stays in Brighton!”

Mermaids spotted in Brighton

Mermaids spotted in Brighton

We hadn’t booked accommodation (underestimating the popularity of Brighton even in winter) so were very lucky to find Kelvin’s, a lovely bed and breakfast that was beautifully clean, smelled lovely (a point worth mentioning after some we entered), served up a delicious brekky and gave us loads of inside info on what to do, where to eat or go for a drink. Well be back!

So now I’m back in London, back at work, saving my pounds and wondering where my next “weekender” should be.

Any suggestions?

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